Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your community, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth....more
Posts Tagged: The Guardian
For the office drones struggling to come back after the four-day weekend, take heart in James Livingston’s essay for Aeon considering whether work is necessary in our present age.
Here at The Rumpus, Helen Betya Rubinstein expresses a sense of dislocation that’s familial and personal in the face of our newly reinforced election-cycle gender binary....more
At the Guardian, Zadie Smith writes about why dance is important for her and for her writing:
The connection between writing and dancing has been much on my mind recently: it’s a channel I want to keep open. It feels a little neglected—compared to, say, the relationship between music and prose—maybe because there is something counter-intuitive about it.
You may have missed Matt Groening and Lynda Barry in Sydney this past weekend, but never fear: over at the Guardian, you can still read about their lifelong friendship, which persists despite diverging paths. Groening is best known for The Simpsons, Barry for Ernie Pook’s Comeek; it all began at Evergreen College, where Matt Groening edited the school newspaper....more
If prose is a house, poetry is a man on fire running quite fast through it.
Kate Kellaway interviews poet Anne Carson for the Guardian, touching on reliability, Oscar Wilde, and passing phases like boxing. Carson’s newest collection, Float, is now available, and she has just appeared in the newly launched Penguin Modern Poets Series....more
Verlaine bought the 7mm six-shooter in Brussels on the morning of 10 July 1873, determined to put an end to a torrid two-year affair with his teenage lover.
The gun Paul Verlaine used to wound fellow poet and lover, Arthur Rimbaud, is up for auction....more
The United Nations is poised to name comic hero Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls at an October 21 event, Alison Flood reports for the Guardian. The occasion, which coincides with the character’s 75th anniversary, “will also mark the launch of the UN’s landmark global campaign supporting Sustainable Development Goal #5, which is to ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,’” the article said....more
In a modern world where hyper-connectivity often results in disconnection from our immediate surroundings, creating the space to explore poetry can make us more reflective and engaged citizens.
Over at the Guardian, Rosie Spinks writes about how poetry can both express urban life, and make it more beautiful....more
A London bookshop is holding a contest for a lifetime supply of books for anyone in the world, according to a story by Alison Flood in the Guardian. Those who wish to enter simply have to tell Heywood Hill bookshop which book published in the past eighty years has been the most meaningful to them....more
Without editor Robert Gottlieb, contemporary classics such as True Grit and Catch-22 might not exist in the forms we know them—but that doesn’t seem to move him. In a rare interview for the Guardian, Michelle Dean visited Gottlieb at his New York home to talk about his long list of achievements, which he demurely brushes off; his forthcoming memoir; and why editors should lay low and let authors have the spotlight....more
An anonymous writer at the Guardian has a second career in erotica to fund their academic lifestyle, despite mixed reactions from colleagues:
Colleagues in the arts react with a strange mixture of nervous supportiveness and embarrassed indifference. If I bring up the subject (in private conversations off-campus, naturally), the conversation is swiftly curtailed.
For the Guardian, Alison Flood writes on the bias of the Oxford English Dictionary towards “famous literary examples” instead of the actual origin, resulting in the incorrect attribution of several still-used words and phrases to Shakespeare. Flood writes that there are multitudes of evidence showing earlier usages of phrases such as “wild goose chase” and “it’s Greek to me,” citing Shakespearean scholar Dr....more
The Dictionary of American Regional English, or DARE, has launched a campaign to save fifty words and phrases it deems are dying from lack of use, reports Alison Flood for the Guardian:
Although language change is inevitable, it’s too bad to see some of our most colourful expressions going out of use,” said Joan Hall, former editor of DARE.
Writing for the Guardian, novelist Val McDermid disputes the recent study which suggests that “literary” fiction readers are more empathetic than “genre” readers:
There is no doubt that, historically, there was a valid distinction. Nobody would attempt to suggest that there is an equivalence between Agatha Christie and Virginia Woolf.
Why is Catch-22 so widely read? According to the Guardian’s Sam Jordison, Joseph Heller’s novel is powerful because its protagonist Yossarian is “an old-fashioned hero”:
Readers immediately cared about Yossarian, and his survival. Yossarian is the point of connection and understanding; a strong central fulcrum around which the chaos of the novel spins.
At the Guardian, Marta Bausells interviews Idra Novey about her life as a translator, the notion of vanishing, and the freedom of speaking another language. On writing her novel, Ways to Disappear, Novey recalls:
I wanted to surprise myself and burn down the house of fiction on every page, as much as I could.
At the Guardian, Charlotte Jones takes issue with the recently announced Pride and Prejudice sequel fleshing out the life of Mary Bennett—a character whose neglect is central to Austin’s plot:
The singularity of Elizabeth Bennett, after all – the reason she so often features in lists of our favourite literary characters – relies solely upon the relief cast by her dull sisters.
Colson Whitehead’s new novel, The Underground Railroad, was announced as an Oprah’s Book Club selection on the day of its release. Speaking to Michelle Dean in the Guardian, Whitehead discusses his reaction to the news:
“I called her back and she said: ‘Oprah.’ I said: ‘Shut the front door,’ because I didn’t want to curse.
According to an article by Alison Flood in the Guardian, library use in England has fallen almost 31 percent over the past decade, with one notable exception:
Adults in the least deprived areas of England saw their library usage decline the most over the decade, from 46.3% to 31.4%, while according to the report, library usage in the five most deprived areas of the country ‘remained reasonably stable.
Less than two percent of science fiction stories published in 2015 were by black writers. And a recent study found that black speculative fiction writers face “universal” racism—more damning evidence demonstrating the institutionalized racism in book publishing, and the importance of introducing more diversity at every level of the process....more
In a recent study, researchers found that people over fifty who read more—books in particular—lived an average of two years longer than those who didn’t read at all:
The researchers discovered that up to 12 years on, those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23% less likely to die, while those who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17% less likely to die.
I love all my characters; every single person I write about, I love. So as I write them, I don’t care how badly they misbehave, because they are who they are, they do what they do.
In an interview with the Guardian, Elizabeth Strout talks about her latest novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, the importance of place in her fiction, and her writing process and career....more
At the Guardian, Tim Cooke investigates why writers’ experiences with homelessness and destitution fascinates readers:
So what is the attraction of being down and out? For some, the prospect of real, hard-hitting subject matter has proved irresistible, while for others the route to the streets has been paved with anguish.